While many members of the College are comfortable contacting the College for information or advice it has come to our attention that there are others who appear not to be.
I was contacted by a senior staff person at the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) for some clarification on two of our policies. He was receiving calls and concerns from a few physicians about several policies and wanted to make sure he understood the policies. When I suggested we would be happy to speak to the physicians if they contacted us directly, I was told that “some don’t feel comfortable.” This was a disappointing message to receive.
Over the twenty years I have worked at the College, senior staff have been accessible to answer questions and concerns from the profession and the public. Who better to ask than those involved in the details of the development and implementation of these policies? We pride ourselves on being a small College that continues to be responsive to our registrants and the public by phone or in-person. Many physicians do reach out for advice. However, it is apparent that some still have reservations about calling.
In this particular case, some physicians had misunderstood the policy and appeared unaware that it was a policy that had been approved and circulated previously. It was also a policy that had benefited from the input of the SMA. We reminded physicians that they needed to ensure their phone message systems provide clear direction on how patients could access after-hours care, with the distribution of a sample infographic.
The frustration and angst experienced by these physicians could have been avoided. We think physicians have enough stress in their lives. Don’t ruminate! Please reach out when you have a question or need advice. If you don’t want to identify yourself, we are okay with that. We will answer your questions to the best of our ability, or suggest to you where you can get the information if it is outside our expertise. If we think the matter needs additional consideration by you or us, we will advise you.
Please take an opportunity to meet us. Drop in, consider attending the next SMA Representative Assembly where College staff are present or the open portion of Council meetings which occur 5 five times per year. Remember, most of our work is spent trying to keep physicians out of trouble. We are not that scary! We want to improve our interactions with you. We hope to meet more of you in the future.